The long weekend of racing saw many brilliant sprinting performances. Queensland warrior Buffering returned from 9 months off the track with an all the way victory in Friday nights Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley. Terravista, first-up from a spell, bravely held off a revitalised Rebel Dane in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes at Randwick on Saturday. Chautauqua was expertly hemmed in by James McDonald and Knoydart in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington on Sunday but still managed to win.
However, there was one horse that stood above his older rivals. Lonhro 3 year-old Exosphere was simply breathtaking in winning the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick. He's one of those horses that gives racegoers goosebumps, not unlike his father and Australia's best sprinter Black Caviar. His show of acceleration had to be seen to be believed, and the ease with which he did it was scary. Ridden patiently, Exosphere was 10 lengths off the Chris Waller trained Japonisme coming to the turn. Japonisme looked to be travelling sweetly and burst 3 or 4 lengths clear of the field. At this point backers of the favourite Exosphere had a lump in their throat. No way could he overhaul Japonisme when he was going so well. Before anyone could blink an eye, jockey James McDonald had given the John O'Shea trained colt the slightest of urgings and he cantered past the field to win by an effortless 3 lengths, breaking Brazen Beaus races record in the process. The fact McDonald never pulled the whip and could have gone faster suggests Exosphere may not be defeated for the rest of his career.
— Godolphin Racing (@godolphin) October 3, 2015
Darren Flindell gave a great call of the race too, which you can view here.
Although it's difficult to compare two different races, Exosphere ran quicker time than Terravista over the same distance in the following race. The two of them, along with Buffering, Chautauqua, and Lankan Rupee could be on a collision course in the Group 1 Darley Sprint on the last day of the Flemington carnival. McDonald was most impressed with the victory, hinting that Exosphere could be the best he's ever ridden.
"He gave me a similar feel to when It’s A Dundeel won the Derby, this horse has given them ten lengths start and picked them up in three strides, it was an incredible win and the world’s his oyster this horse."
While his next target is likely to be the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes up the Flemington straight for 3 year-olds, Godolphin trainer John O'Shea hasn't set anything in stone.
"I might not even run him in the Coolmore. We could just go straight to the Darley and trial him before that. I’ll sit down and have a chat to Henry after the Blue Sapphire and see what happens to Mogador and work out if we want to run two in the Coolmore or one in the Coolmore.”
Whatever race he does contest is sure to be an exciting contest. It's a shame his career will be brief due to his value as a stallion.